Plymouth Argyle move for 'shattered' striker 'extremely doubtful'
ALEX MACDONALD'S proposed move to Plymouth Argyle is rated 'extremely doubtful', according to the Burnley player's agent.
The forward, 22, had been poised to rejoin the Pilgrims permanently in the January transfer window after successful loan spells at Home Park.
But the sacking of manager Carl Fletcher on New Year's Day left MacDonald's transfer from Turf Moor in tatters and the player 'shattered', agent James Cook told Herald Sport.
Cook said Fletcher would have been a major factor in the Scotland under-21 international penning a permanent move to Plymouth.
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However, said Cook, MacDonald had also formed an affection for Argyle and was looking forward to moving his family down to the South West in 2013.
Now, said Cook, a transfer seemed unlikely, although he would not rule out negotiations re-opening should the new Argyle manager so desire.
Another factor is finances at Home Park, with the League Two strugglers needing to ship players out, thus easing pressure on the playing budget for potential new signings.
Cook said: "It's a major blow to Alex. I don't think the move is going to happen now.
"Given Argyle have not yet appointed a new manager, it's extremely doubtful, which is a real shame for both Alex and the club.
"It's fair to say Alex was shattered when he heard Carl Fletcher had lost his job.
"He was on the phone to me straight away and I could tell he was upset, not just because his plans were up in the air, but also because Fletcher was no longer the manager."
Cook added: "Alex loved his time at Home Park and was looking forward to getting back there on a permanent basis once the transfer window opened.
"He had a strong relationship with Carl Fletcher and the coaching staff, players and supporters at Argyle, so he was and still is very down about it.
"He'd spent time on loan at Plymouth and that was successful, although Alex had missed not having his family around him.
"He has a baby daughter, Chloe, who was born in May and I know it hurt Alex a lot being away from his partner and little girl.
"But he was willing to uproot them from the North West and bring them down to the South West, so that he can play football regularly."
MacDonald signed a one-year extension to his contract with Championship Burnley at the end of the 2011/12 season, with his impressive loan spell and goals helping to keep Argyle in the Football League playing no small part in the new deal.
Cook said MacDonald was now working hard, training with the Clarets' first team and had already impressed Burnley boss Sean Dyche, installed at the end of October, with his commitment and dedication.
"Alex is a pro and has knuckled down in training as we all knew he would," said Cook.
"It could be he'll stay at Burnley until his contract runs out in the summer.
"I know Sean Dyche has been impressed by his attitude in training.
"But Alex wants to play regularly, as he was at Argyle, but unfortunately for him and the club that doesn't appear very likely now."